Now I Understand Why You Should Choose a Company by Their Values

by Francesca Passafonti

Marc Benioff, Salesforce CEO, says that “the business of business is improving the state of the world”.

When I read these words for the first time while preparing for interviews, I was instantly fascinated by Salesforce’s efforts in not only delivering cutting-edge CRM solutions but also giving back to the society and to the environment.

Many advised me to choose a company according to its values. While I understood from the beginning the fundamental importance of a company’s values, I have never truly believed that they should be the number one driver in selecting where to apply for my internship. Not until I began my first few days as an intern at Salesforce, which completely changed my mind.

Here at Salesforce, values inspire everyday action and are applied in practice in every decision. I truly think these are the key success factors for a company, as they make employees feel proud of their authentic self and develop also a strong sense of belonging. Everybody wants to give back to their community, make others feel accepted, and promote diversity.

The motto of my summer Futureforce internship program is ‘Leave it better than you found it’. When I listened to this sentence during one of the very first meetings, I was wondering how a working-from-home intern could actually improve a growing multinational company in just two months? After just one day, it became much clearer to me.

Even before learning about the project we had to work on, Futureforce first explained to us the importance of improving the inside of Salesforce but also helping the community outside. Equality, diversity, social justice and environmental protection are priorities and not just a marketing tool. Moreover, goals and facts related to gender/racial representation, environmental impact, hours volunteered and other social themes are tracked to ensure transparency and motivate every employee to contribute.

Just to give you an idea, in one year, all Salesforce employees around the world will have volunteered more than 1.1 million hours! And do you know what’s even greater about this? You can make an impact from behind your room’s desk (or, if you are lucky, from your beach house!). Here I will give you my personal tips to fully live the Ohana while also ‘improving the state of the world’, even in a virtual internship. These tips will be helpful for any students thinking about becoming a future Futureforce intern:

1. Become and Ally and join an Equality Group: Salesforce’s Equality groups are 12 employee-led groups of people that share similar experiences and/or backgrounds. Join them on Chatter even if you are not part of those communities and become an Ally! In these groups there are lots of interesting events to attend in order to learn more about Salesforce diverse workforce. It is also the perfect opportunity to know new people.

2. Participate in Futureforce VTOs: My first Futureforce volunteering task was to help map buildings, roads and rivers in underdeveloped areas of rural India. It is just incredible what we can do by just typing and clicking. As an intern, and like every Salesforce employee, we get 56 hours paid time off for volunteering.

3. Network with people from different cultures/countries: Utilise Chatter to connect with people that have a different cultural background from yours or are from different regions. This will open your mind to different perspectives and will let you understand how to leverage differences and create the most inclusive working environment. Our international coffee chat program allowed us to connect with interns over in Mexico, Brazil and Argentina; as well as interns across Europe.

4. Learn: In Salesforce there are so many free learning opportunities. I encourage you to make the most that you can about Salesforce social effort from Trailhead. It is a fun way to learn and it lets you accumulate points and earn badges. I suggest the Sustainability badgeand the trail ‘Cultivate Equality at Work’. To discover more Salesforce role in fighting the climate change, I suggest to read the Salesforce Stakeholder Impact Report.

5. Have fun! While leaving better than you found it, do not forget to have fun (and take pictures to make life-long memories).

You can learn more about opportunities available to interns and new grads at Salesforce on our Futureforce website.
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